Expo Faces

Out of India

By Tang Zhihao (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-10-22 09:12
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 Out of India
Liu Yiyang was sent to the Expo to teach visitors about authentic India yoga. Ren Long / Xinhua

Authorized teacher says authentic Hatha yoga can heal diseases and lead to a happier life, writes Tang Zhihao.

Liu Yiyang claims that her yoga performance in the Expo Garden teaches visitors about authentic India yoga, as distinct from the half-baked classes at your local gym.

"India yoga is a branch of medical science that requires a deep study of the human body. It is like studying to become a doctor. We intend to bring visitors an experience that is different from what they can get at fitness and health centers in China," she said.

"In some fitness centers, the trainers combine traditional Chinese taiqi with Western dancing and some Yoga postures and claim it's yoga. But it's not authentic yoga that originated from India."

Liu offers traditional branches of yoga such as Hatha and Karma that focus on physical and mental discipline.

"In some cases it can cure diseases, and losing weight is another advantage," she said, adding that people need to choose the correct course to suit their level of fitness and body shape.

Rajesh Kumar, a media staff at the India Pavilion, said that Liu's poses were more genuine than many he had seen being taught in China by so-called experts.

Beijing-born Liu, 24, was the first Chinese student to obtain a master's degree in yoga in India. She studied at the Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga, which only accepts one foreign student to its master's course every year. Roughly 1,000 foreigners obtain master's degrees specializing in yoga in India annually.

The institute sent her to the Expo Garden as part of a group of teachers. They have given 50 shows inside the India Pavilion and 25 performances of Hatha yoga at Asia Square.

Liu said she will give at least two more performances: on Oct 25 at the Theme Pavilion, and one week later at the closing ceremony of the Expo.

She has also signed a working contract with the Shanghai Film Art Academy to better promote traditional yoga in China at its newly established yoga academy.

"It has always been my dream to return home and impart my knowledge about yoga to Chinese society," she said. "I think it's the best way to keep fit and lead a stress-free and happy life."

She said she hopes to follow this up by traveling the country educating people on the holistic benefits of yoga for the elderly and sick.

"I want to train people to be qualified teachers. I would love to travel to various parts of China to talk about the benefits of yoga and naturopathy, and also the benefits of yoga therapy in healing chronic diseases, especially for senior people."

(China Daily 10/22/2010)


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